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Exploring Twine: An interactive fiction journey

Author: M. Monica Gillen

Twine logo

Storytelling meets technology in the world of Twine, and it’s not just another gadget in the digital toolbox. An open-source tool for building interactive stories and choose-your-own-adventure games, Twine can be used by anyone, whether you’re a novice or experienced developer. 

Part of the spring semester library workshop lineup, an opportunity to learn Twine is coming soon. Erin Ridnour, digital scholarship librarian, plans Building Interactive Text Adventures with Twine from 2:10-3:25 p.m., Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in The Catalyst in Parks Library.

If you know how to browse the internet and have basic computer skills, you’ll be fine using Twine. It’s intuitive and user friendly, which means easy navigation of your interactive story. Basic styling options are available within the Twine editor, and there are many additional features and style changes you can make by learning how to use Twine’s built-in macros and by adding CSS and JavaScript.

Some basic elements set Twine apart. It’s easy to navigate and flexible. Maybe your story will have branches, meaning the reader can choose multiple paths leading to a variety of endings or places. You can even augment your story with multimedia elements including pictures, sound, and video. Plus, you don’t need to know how to code. Unlike many platforms for gaming development, Twine doesn’t require programming knowledge. You’ll use a simple markup language within the visual editor in the Twine interface.

There is online community of creatives who share and collaborate on projects, and this is one of the reasons Ridnour recommends Twine. “There are many community resources available for troubleshooting in addition to the thorough documentation provided on the Twine site,” she said. “Twine can be a great teaching tool for creative writing, game development, and coding. And it’s fun!”

Check out these Twine stories created by Digital Scholarship and Initiatives staff. 

Register today for the April 23 Twine workshop.